A process orchestration solution provides a business with capabilities to track and manage workflow from start to finish. Using intelligent business process management software (iBPMS), businesses have insights to better define “dependent events,” realign resources to clear bottlenecks and even handle periodic volume spikes.
Industry 4.0 demands that companies manage the interplay between various systems that run operations. While deploying robotic process automation (RPA) bots will automate a specific aspect of the workflow, process orchestration will amplify productivity gains by ensuring seamless hand-offs between automations – including RPA, AI and intelligent document processing (IDP) – enterprise applications and human workers.
Process orchestration finds utility in both front-office and back-office operations. Organizations that have operations built around a set of linear activities have widely adopted process orchestration.
There are more than a dozen players in the process orchestration solution market. As enterprises get to know their options for implementation, they should keep in mind both immediate requirements and long-term expectations from the business team.
5 Considerations for Choosing Your Process Orchestration Platform
- Type of work / process: It is important to think about the type of activity you are targeting for process orchestration. Clearly defined business rules, consistent nature of inputs and stable enterprise applications are essential for a successful process orchestration deployment. If handling random or unstructured work is a requisite, the orchestration platform should have the capability to manage it. In case of siloed operations, a process orchestration platform and a clear workflow map can add tremendous value by increasing operational visibility.
- Licensing cost: Considerations regarding base license fee, implementation cost and ongoing cost of maintenance are important. Platforms that support flexibility in process modelling in business process modelling notation (BPMN) are complex and need professionals to maintain and support. On the other hand, platforms with no-code modelling capabilities have limited flexibility but are easy to manage and less costly to maintain. A platform with packaged business capabilities and ease of integration with third-party applications can be a pragmatic option.
- Bot Workforce: If you have existing automations active in your process, make sure that process orchestration API can communicate with the bot platform and that there is a readily available “activity library” to ensure smooth integration of process bots within the orchestration platform. It is best to select an orchestration platform that is RPA agnostic as it opens up the option to adopt a multi-RPA platform strategy. Degree of complimentary compatibility with other automation offerings like chatbots, document processing platforms, etc. will be a bonus.
- Business intelligence: Work in the back and middle office should be driven by timeliness SLAs. These translate to every piece of work being given a due date. All of the iBPMS can set due dates on tasks. However, true SLA management based on state change and working calendars is not a feature that is commonly available. Integration with BI platforms like Tableau and Power BI will allow the business to generate insights about critical process metrics and thus should be a selection criterion for the platform.
- Citizen development: It makes sense to choose a platform that is low code / no code if the organization does not plan to host a dedicated technical team to manage and maintain their process orchestration platform. There are options to choose between products that support and allow modelling in BPMN versus those that favor drag-and-drop type-modelling. Choosing a platform that is no code and has a shorter learning curve will ensure that citizen developers will be able to handle it based on business requirement.
Thinking about these key aspects will ensure your orchestration platform suits your unique organizational environment and needs, resulting in hassle-free deployment, seamless integration with other technologies and timely realization of benefits. ISG helps companies understand and navigate the rapidly changing automation market and prepare their work, so they get the most out of their automation investments. Contact us to find out how we can help.
About the author
Birad Bhatt is a Consulting Manager with ISG’s automation practice. He works on deploying RPA and process orchestration solutions for clients and writes about his views/insights on a regular basis.